Unlike other explorations insinuated in the context of research, marriage counseling has been one of the unspecialized fields emerged with theoretical assumptions and practice (Stuckert, 2003). This however, has been the challenge to psychologists and practitioners in defying the thought that marriage cannot be taken into research since its hypotheses and results of practice have been acclimated, nevertheless the volume available for study is accumulated.
Everett L. Worthington Jr. , a psychology professor and the proponent of over 150 articles tackling issues on marriage, forgiveness and reconciliation was able to find standard procedures on how to keep marriages anchored on Christianity based marital therapy. More specifically, through the light of his year 1999 published book, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling, couples are to be taken to a self rehabilitation which will give hope to individuals who are living in a room full of skeptic viewpoints about marriage and eventually open a realization that his substantial research shall lead them to a path where “miracles do happen in the real world.
” (Worthington, 1999) Overview Marriage is a shadow of the relationship that we are expected to have with Jesus—permanent, loving, committed. (Eph 5:32) Everett L. Worthington begins his book with a verse in the bible which depicts the meaning of marriage in the most moral and Christian way thus giving a connotation that helping troubled couples is not an easy task.
However, she points out the fact that the extent of healing relationships is through developing a character of Christ embodied in every individual’s personality and manifest such with one’s relationships to his or her social network as well (Worthington, 1999). Further, he stresses that when a relationship has Christ as vanguard, life will be inhabited with the verity of love, faith and hope and that then is the start of a bright thing. Strengths What makes his book amazing falls on the grounds of analytic and realistic situations as the core of the gist of the whole scenario.
Initially introducing theories then later putting the theories into practice makes readers able to divulge their selves in the dimension that the author intends them to live with. His strategies (advices, so to speak) draws out a hysteria which will make readers know their respective state in life at first, hence, for having been given the momentum to realize what is happening in their lives, they will seek for answers on how to save them from their presumed agony.
Further, his approaches through exercises which are efficient to exhibit (Worthington, 1999)—drawing fundamental values, the promotion of confession and forgiveness, communication intensification, aiding conflict resolution, alterations of the pattern of thinking, intimacy development, and the cementing of commitment—gives grandeur to the book as readers can implement these exercises with their partners or core groups. Realistically crafted, he gives marriage counseling a twist by inculcating his own experiences which gives conviction to the statements and recommendations written in his book.
One fascinating fact on the book is its distinctiveness in course, since unlike other books on marriage counseling, typically establishing manuals which synonymously suggest divorce or annulment so as not to complicate the situation, this book thinks otherwise. Though the author admitted that is hard and rarely possible in the contemporary society—divorce is legal and other forms of law that allow couples to “live” without the need of marital rites—still, he fervently believes that the sacred matrimony must be preserved even if others no longer accept as true the tradition and the essence of spiritual intimacy.
These ideas represented in the book will coin back the integrity, accountability, prudence and proper teaching among couples. Weaknesses “Hope-focused rather than problem-focused” (Worthington, 1999) this is the toweringly hopeful campaign of the author. Thus, because of globalization, cultural diversity and the differences of every individual, there may be some who may not appreciate the book for reasons that inhibit the issue on dissimilarity of character, viewpoint in life, tradition and environmental influences.
It is evident that the target audiences of the book are Christians—although optimistic individuals would also be interested in reading the book—hence this leads us to a remorseful realization that it will not drive “naysayer” or a pessimist to read it. Still, fingers are crossed on the intent of the book, and that is to spread the thought that “change is possible” and in the long run, every couple will be given a new outlook on their marriage for the benefit of their family. Conclusions and further remarks
The functions of the husband and the wife bear a multifaceted blueprint of expectations of the responses which are to come from one another. Hence as humans, challenges and trials are inevitable aspects in life and must therefore be taken with full accountability after having vowed under the sacred matrimony and under the blessing of the church. However, in the present era, where several factors influence every person’s character and personality, asking for help and intervention from one who truly understands the quintessence of love and marriage is a an ideal act to do (Stuckert, 2003).
Communication mostly is the main problem of couples and Worthington is able to help by producing a masterpiece which, with confidence, he believes will save troubled marriages. Forgive. Reconcile. Change can happen if one will listen while the other speaks. References Stuckert, R. P. (2003). Role Perception and Marital Satisfaction. A Configurational Approach. Marriage and Family Living, 25(4), 415-419. Worthington, E. L. (1999). Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.